Plans for boatyard prompt row over affordable homes

Plans for boatyard prompt row over affordable homes

Pictured at the boatyard are Jericho Wharf trustees, from left, David Feeny, Fr Jonathan Beswick, chairwoman Phyllis Starkey and Peter Stalker

An artist’s impression of what the boatyard could look like

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

THE firm behind plans for the £20m Jericho Boatyard redevelopment scheme has defended its proposals to make just 32 per cent of the site’s housing affordable.

Oxford City Council’s planning policy says that 50 per cent of homes in new developments should be affordable, unless a developer can prove it is not financially viable.

It comes as Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF)’s planning application for the long-awaited scheme was finally made public on the council’s website on Monday.

It reveals that of 22 new homes, just seven will be affordable.

But Johnny Sanderson, SIAHAF chief executive, said the benefits outweighed the lack of housing.

Mr Sanderson said: “The boatyard is one of the most complicated development sites in the city, with massive infrastructure costs going into it.

“That includes the provision of the boatyard, community centre and a public square that will finally allow people to appreciate the Grade I-listed St Barnabas Church.

“Despite that, we have still said one third of housing delivered will be affordable.

“We see that as a huge success, though clearly you always want to deliver more.”

Mr Sanderson said SIAHAF had reached a “broad agreement” with the city council on the issue.

But members of the Jericho Wharf Trust, the community group which made a rival bid for the boatyard site, have raised concerns about the plans.

Group member Peter Stalker said: “It is important to the community that there is enough affordable housing in this scheme, so the Wharf Trust is disappointed SIAHAF is only proposing 32 per cent.”

The trust has also said the plans published have pushed up the costs for a community centre by £1.6m, to £6.6m.

SIAHAF has said it will build the community centre but residents have to fund it.

In the latest designs the firm said it would have to be partly built above the community boatyard.

SIAHAF spokesman Nick Band said the developer wase unaware of the trust’s position on housing but would be happy to discuss the issues directly.

City council leader Bob Price, who is a member of the committee which will decide whether to approve the plans said: “Our policy is very clear on this issue.

“If the affordable housing quota is below 50 per cent then the questions about viability become very important. We will carefully scrutinise evidence put forward.

“We need more affordable housing in the city and the policy is part of that aspiration.”

The city council’s west area planning committee is likely to make a decision in August, and must do so before September 18.

  • Our top stories:

Ex-home head convicted of abusing boys

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

THE former boss of an Oxfordshire children’s home has been convicted of sexually abusing boys during the 1970s and 1980s.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed two councillors who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Health is given a 6.6% cash boost

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

THE group which makes most county NHS funding decisions will get an extra 6.6 per cent for its budget next year, it was announced yesterday.

Trust managers shown as Nazis in video parody

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

A VIDEO portraying South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) bosses as Nazi military officials has emerged on YouTube.

London Welsh's mascot breathes some fire into ward visit

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

A FIRE-BREATHING dragon treated sick youngsters to early Christmas treats yesterday.

Inspector's concerns over Northern Gateway strategy

Oxford Mail: Bob Price, Oxford City Council

6:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

CONCERNS have been raised about plans submitted for Oxford’s Northern Gateway business park by a Government inspector.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:28pm Wed 25 Jun 14

jamiek says...

Here we go again the council wanting everyone else to build afforable houses for them latter day Dick Turpins!!!!!!!!!!
Here we go again the council wanting everyone else to build afforable houses for them latter day Dick Turpins!!!!!!!!!! jamiek
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree